Chipping Away at Choice

Anti-choice activists scored big on Tuesday when the Oklahoma Legislature voted to override the OK governor’s veto on two abortion bills. One of the bills is particularly blatant in its ploy to shame women into not choosing an abortion — it requires women to have an ultrasound, be shown the extremities, heart and organs of the fetus, and listen to a detailed description of the fetus before getting an abortion. Way to play on the conflicting emotions a woman may have about aborting.

I’m just really tired of ANYONE shaming women over their personal choices. This is the kind of big issue that is all about a woman being allowed agency over her body, that is rooted in the belief that women’s bodies are public property and subject to critique, ridicule, and ultimately legislation. One Oklahoma state senator said Tuesday was “a good day for the cause of life”. Really? Only the suicidally depressed are anti-life or pro-death. It’s such a joke to call it “the cause of life” as if women who choose abortion are solely concerned with eliminating what anti-choice advocates consider a “potential life”. Ironically, “pro-life” doesn’t actually mean all life, as so many people who are “pro-life” are also pro-death penalty.

Slowly, a woman’s right to choose abortion is being taken away piece by piece. Whether it’s parental consent laws, cross-state abortion bans, or allowing doctors to withhold information regarding a possible birth defect in order to prevent a woman from aborting, the effect is the same — it’s harder and harder to make an already personally difficult choice, and the circumstances involved in that choice are being regulated by the state. Our right to legally choose has always been tenuous, requiring constant defense against anti-choice advocates pushing back and gaining ground. With laws like these, our rights are being restricted to a box that eventually no woman will be able to fit into.

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  • http://meetmeinthedayroom.wordpress.com alex

    My husband got stationed here in OKC for the USAF. I've never hated a place more in my life. It's racist, sexist, and homophobic. I struggle every day.

    • http://www.redvinylshoes.com Tasha Fierce

      Damn, that sucks. I hope he gets transferred out of there ASAP.

  • Kate

    I have a lot of family from Oklahoma and thus have spent a lot of time there and it breaks my heart how the state is pretty much being taken over by close minded bigots.

    I read something several years ago about just how bad a newspaper the Daily Oklahoman is partisan-wise and I can't help but wonder if that one paper is driving much of the state's politics.

    Alex, I hope you are freed from Oklahoma soon.

  • Anna

    Ugh, this is so horrifying. I don't know how people can justify this sort of thinking, I really don't understand it.

    You're right, I am just TIRED of people trying to fuck with our choices.

  • http://justjuliebean.wordpress.com julie

    While the Oklahoma stuff is particularly egregious, abortions rights have been being chipped away for years. Even when there are full rights, there is little access. My parents are heavy pro-choice, also pro-death penalty. Consistent, at least.

    • http://www.redvinylshoes.com Tasha Fierce

      I agree, it's slowly been happening for decades now. We're just getting closer.

  • http://donewiththisshit.tumblr.com Meems

    Someone recently asked me why we complain about male leadership on the anti-choice movement but not in the pro-choice movement. I think the difference is that the former are taking away agency from women and the latter respect a woman's right to choose.

    Anyway, it's sadly true that access to safe abortion practitioners has been an issue since Roe v. Wade was decided. I'm currently writing my final (final!) papers for a graduate degree in religion, ethics, and politics, and I'm writing about the ethics of abortion. One of the most interesting conclusions I've come to is that the sexual liberalization of the 1960s and 70s was the primary influencing factor that caused the Religious Right to latch onto abortion as their main rallying issue. Divorce and infidelity are also prohibited by the Christian Bible and yet they haven't become the same type of political flashpoint.

    We need a federal law, not just a SJC ruling.